“We are at an era where we find ourselves growing up in poverty stricken communities where the majority of residents rely mainly on social grants to make ends meet. Again, it is for us to bring about change or development in these dire circumstances to ensure that we are able to create jobs for ourselves and others.”
When a youth says those words, it is an obvious indication that there are youths who are ambitious and determined to contribute to the youth development in communities or areas in which they find themselves.
Rembu Mphilo, also known as Jeffrey (a name given him by his late grandfather) had grown up in an environment which hardly had provision of extra mural activities due to lack of community recreational activities and other related resources.
“There was less to do or keep one busy after school and during the weekends. There was only football and it was not enough to cater for all youths because there were those of us who were not that good at it.”
However, Rembu had taken to observing and sometimes assisting in the small businesses which some family members were running for subsistence. Little did he know then that he was arming himself with life-long skills which would be useful in the future.
“My late grandmother was famous for making a very delicious home brewed beer, my late dad used to sell live chickens and vegetables. But I had to learn more about business from my aunt who is a reputable hawker at Litshovhu Secondary School at Madombidzha village.”
In 2014, Rembu landed a short-term job on a local road construction project at Mailaskop village, Limpopo.
“My colleagues didn’t have a place where they can go and get ready-made food during lunch time as well as the community at large and that pushed me to start a fast food outlet.”
Blue House Eating Palace sold fried potato chips, viennas, polony and atchar then. At the end of the business day, they used to make proceeds of R150. They were operating in a small shack for two years.
“In 2016 I surrendered my kitchen in my three-room house and moved my business into it. We added more items such as russians, cheese, kotas, baked fish, soft drinks and bread. Our serves also include lotto play point, and pay points for Avon accounts, DSTV accounts, and electricity tokens. We send money to neighbouring countries such as Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Swaziland.”
Since its inception, Blue House Eating Palace had employment opportunities for at least fifteen people with three currently working on a permanent basis.
“We are happy that some of our former employees went on to land jobs at big restaurants such as Nando’s, Blacksteer, Galitos and Tsogo Sun.”
What distinguishes Blue House Eating Palace from the rest is the quality of services that they offer to customers from competitive prices and accessibility since they are situated right next to the D4 road (detour from the N1 road) which leads to Elim.
“We’re also innovative and adapt to changes with ease.”
One of the ladies working at Blue House Eating Palace, Ms Tshiwela Maselesele Tshikumbana, said: “Would like to thank Mushavhi (Rembu) for offering me a job. Ever since I joined his business my life has changed for the better.”